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26th World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) – Obesity, bariatric surgery ‘cuts’ the risk of cancer: -25%

PRNewswire August 28, 2023

NAPLES, Italy, Aug. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Losing weight with bariatric surgery can have a major impact on the risk of developing cancer. A study conducted by the University of Utah, Salt Lake City (USA), published in Obesity, has shown that patients with severe obesity who undergo surgery have a 25% lower risk of developing cancers, including the non-obesity related ones. Women have a 41% lower risk of developing obesity-related cancers.

Cancer risk for male patients wasn’t lower compared to non-surgical subjects.

The study also showed that women who had surgery had a 47% lower risk of dying from uterine, ovarian, colon, pre-and post-menopausal breast cancer, than women who did not undergo surgery.

Bariatric surgery results in lower incidence rates of colon cancer too.

The advantages of bariatric surgery will be presented at the 26th World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO), taking place in Naples, Italy, August 30 to September 1st, chaired by Luigi Angrisani, Professor of General Surgery at Federico II University of Naples.

Although several studies have established a higher incidence of cancer in patients with obesity (compared to lean patients), so far it was not exactly clear whether weight reduction through surgery leads to a reduction in cancer risk,” Angrisani comments – This is because it is difficult to achieve significant and sustained weight loss in large and statistically significant populations. But this new study shows that with substantial and lasting weight loss, that can be achieved with bariatric surgery, it is possible to obtain a significant reduction in the risk of developing cancer, compared to patients who don’t have surgery. This research is another important confirmation of the long-term benefits of weight loss surgery in cancer prevention, as already anticipated in the “ASMBS/IFSO Guidelines” published in October 2022, of which are co-authors, together with Professor Angrisani, Professor Scott A. Shikora, Harvard University, USA, current President of IFSO, and Professor Gerhard Prager, UniMed in Vienna, Austria President-elect of IFSO.

The study is based on the comparison between cancer incidence and mortality. Data were stratified by cancer type, stage, sex and type of surgery. Almost 22,000 patients undergoing bariatric surgery were involved and matched to be compared with non-operated people with obesity. The surgical procedures are: gastric bypass, vertical gastrectomy, gastric banding and duodenal-switch.

“The new study is an important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between obesity and cancer” – highlights Angrisani – The findings add new evidence to the scientific literature, indicating that significant weight loss achieved with bariatric surgery reduces the risk of several types of cancer. The risk of cancer in women, who are the majority of people undergoing bariatric surgery, is significantly reduced. People with obesity and physicians should take these benefits seriously into consideration when evaluating and discussing bariatric surgery with their patients.

Manuela Mazzarella
Ph-+39 339 2096291


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